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Author Topic: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass  (Read 3995 times)

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April 16, 2020, 08:24:51 AM
Reply #15

Kreggers

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Re: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2020, 08:24:51 AM »
Isn't the easiest way to answer the question of "do prior game text actions still apply" to read the game text and ask if it always needs to be present for the effects to remain?

Example, Gollum, Vile Creature states "Skirmish: Exert Gollum twice or remove a threat to make him strength +2."

Once you exert Gollum twice to make him strength +2, you no longer need the game text. You already completed the action. He is strength +2. Eliminating this game text no longer matters as, unless I wanted to exert him twice again, the game text became obsolete after I performed the action.

This is different if say, a card game text says "when you spot a hobbit, this minion is fierce". This effect requires the presence of the game text, so when Star-glass cancels the text, the minion is no longer fierce.

April 17, 2020, 05:52:00 AM
Reply #16

Phallen Cassidy

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Re: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2020, 05:52:00 AM »
I notice he didn't try to bust that Decipher loves Elves :) I don't know anything about the important people back then, but he did a very bad job explaining why Shire isn't for beginners (though I don't disagree with him) and defending against escalation. And we all know Orc Slaughterer should've been written with something other than de-italicized helper text (the word "additional" comes to mind).

Kreggers, that's the idea I had dubbed the "nebulous modifier holding pen," that there's some sort of meta-zone where players keep track of those things. My thinking is that erasing game text of a card is different from discarding a card, so the answer to your question is the answer to what happens. The big issue I'm seeing is under "effects" in the Comprehensive Rules 4.0: "The source of an effect is the card on which that effect is printed." If we trace back effects to their source, the source should still exist. Vile Creature still exists, but his text does not which is a distinction from Vile Creature being killed, discarded, or removed from the game.

Perhaps it's enough for the card to still be there, even if there's nothing you can point to that created the effect. It just feels awkward to me. If Easterling Army uses its ability to give itself +1 and then Star-glass is used, you may as well swap that card out with Goblin Patrol Troop (in a perfect example race and culture would stay the same... Just pretend). When would you ever be able to point to that minion and say "this minion is making itself strength +1"? I know, I know, the players can say "I remember 5 seconds ago when you used the text before it was gone." But now that it is gone, how can we still look to it? This isn't undoing an effect or even canceling it, this is erasing it. You all seem to think I'm arguing Star-glass is The Terminator, and I'm saying it's the Infinity Gauntlet.

But Merrick's article makes me think about a slightly different angle: if Decipher ruled on it today (or 15 years ago), how do I think they would? Probably with the majority opinion, setting up some sort of meta-zone for modifiers. It was probably a mistake to delve into strength bonuses because strength isn't game text (though I think the two outcomes are connected), so look back at what this means for Her Ladyship. You play her, spot Gollum, and choose Aragorn. Now there's this modifier floating around that says Aragorn can't be assigned to a skirmish. By that logic, it's no longer related to Shelob or even Aragorn, it's just out in that nebulous holding pen for modifiers. Now if I make Uruk Fighter fierce and hit him with Star-glass, can I say that he's still fierce because the game text isn't his? Of course that's silly, and none of you are trying to say that. But then how can something different be said of Shelob's text, that the modifier is applied and now simply exists?

What about a card along the lines of Lookout Uruk (with what could be my new favorite awful flavor text), is the site still a Battleground regardless of whether his text exists? Obviously not, but it's a modifier so why wouldn't it end up in the nebulous holding pen with the rest of them? And here's why I tied in strength values: if it doesn't make sense to put game text or keywords in a nebulous holding pen, why does it make sense to put values for strength or resistance there? And if they're not there, they gotta be somewhere -- if that somewhere is the source, then it makes sense to me that it can be removed. I still acknowledge that the strength value isn't game text. Regardless of how Star-glass affects the strength of already-used Vile Creature, Plotting will always make him strength +2 and Hidden Even From Her can't make him fierce.

So that's where I'm coming from, hopefully if that makes sense then it will be easier to point out where I'm wrong. I'm stubborn, but I know I'm not infallible ;) I just don't think your arguments so far have addressed my concerns. I'm making ground towards the rest of you on strength values (believe it or not), but I haven't budged on Her Ladyship so it's hard for me to bridge the gap on why the results are different.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 11:48:04 AM by Phallen Cassidy »

April 17, 2020, 08:40:25 AM
Reply #17

Dictionary

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Re: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2020, 08:40:25 AM »
Uruk Fighter would lose Fierce regardless because it's part of its game text.

A better example would be Lieutenant of Orthanc; would you say that other uruks lose fierce is you use Star Glass on him?
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April 17, 2020, 09:57:32 AM
Reply #18

Phallen Cassidy

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Re: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2020, 09:57:32 AM »
Uruk Fighter would lose Fierce regardless because it's part of its game text.

A better example would be Lieutenant of Orthanc; would you say that other uruks lose fierce is you use Star Glass on him?

I chose Uruk Fighter because if the modifier is just hanging out in outer space, how can we say it's part of the Fighter's text? It's my counter argument to the "meta-zone" for modifiers, I don't see how it works with the rest of the game's mechanics. But I see that it missed the mark, because the modifier would be giving Uruk Fighter game text. Still, how does *that* work? The modifier continues to give Uruk Fighter fierce, and Star-glass continues to block it? Seems silly, but so have other true things.

For Lieutenant of Orthanc, I'd say that there is no longer anything telling you that the Uruk is fierce. This isn't the same as when the Lieutenant is discarded and there's no longer anything in play telling you that the Uruk is fierce -- there's just nothing.

April 17, 2020, 01:20:11 PM
Reply #19

Kreggers

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Re: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2020, 01:20:11 PM »
Uruk Fighter would lose Fierce regardless because it's part of its game text.

A better example would be Lieutenant of Orthanc; would you say that other uruks lose fierce is you use Star Glass on him?

I would apply the same logic here as in my post above and say that for Lieutenant of Orthanc, since the exertion has taken place, the game text is no longer necessary for making others fierce, so whether he is discarded/dies/loses game text, the action already taken (and exerted for) is still in play.

April 17, 2020, 03:19:16 PM
Reply #20

Phallen Cassidy

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Re: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2020, 03:19:16 PM »
Sure, but where?  Where do we keep track of that info? I see 3 choices: the source card, the target card, or some third zone for all modifiers. The rules under "effect" make me think option 1, which would mean it gets wiped. Option 2 sounds reasonable, but I don't remember anyone arguing for it. Option 3, the popular choice, just seems wrong if I try to think out the implications of it. And due in large part to my stubbornness, I haven't been convinced that my thought process is wrong yet (but people have managed it in the past!).
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 03:30:30 PM by Phallen Cassidy »

April 17, 2020, 04:10:42 PM
Reply #21

menace64

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Re: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2020, 04:10:42 PM »
Option 4: In the minds of the players and/or on any method of record-keeping deemed most efficient by all parties?

April 18, 2020, 05:08:15 AM
Reply #22

Dictionary

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Re: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2020, 05:08:15 AM »
Option 4: In the minds of the players and/or on any method of record-keeping deemed most efficient by all parties?
That might be appropriate, but I wonder if we have yet exhausted every point of discussion regarding this topic ](*,)

Having gone through the whole thread again, I personally think we are getting closer to the heart of the issue.

I want to throw one more example at you, since IMO it better illustrates the whole Terminator/IG idea: I am playing Expanded and my opponent moves to my copy of Mount Doom. I then play Destroyed Homestead and reveal their copy of Mount Doom. Would you say that this ignores the effect of Mount Doom, and allows players to swap their sites in and out again (But only on their turn, while Destroyed Homestead is active)? I use this as an example, because the effects of Mount Doom obviously cannot be undone, as has been discussed quite a bit in the past, but as you say, if we are ignoring the effect rather than deleting it, then the interpretation makes sense. This is probably what you have meant since the beginning, so I apologise for making you repeat yourself so many times.

Another issue that you touched on before, was when cards are removed from the game. I personally feel like this should have the same effect as ignoring their text, since they no longer exist. But as you have said, Decipher never seems to treat these cards in that way at all, which is a bit weird. For example, I would have thought that Banners Blowing can't provide a strength bonus, once it has been removed from the game, since it no longer exists. Of course, that defeats the purpose of playing the card in the first place, so I cannot argue for that chain of logic.

It seems to me that the core of this argument stems from whether or not the nebulous modifier holding pen exists or not. This might seem like a bit of a tangent, but I would like to hear your thoughts on another card, where I think that which way you interpret it makes a difference. Suppose that I have Sentry Uruk and another Hunter. Sentry Uruk is then a Hunter. Then the other Hunter dies. Intuitively, I would assume that Sentry Uruk loses its Hunter bonus at that point. Going by what you have said about effects coming from text, I would assume the same thing. However, looking at things from the nebulous modifier holding pen point of view, I would argue that since Sentry Uruk has a modifier making it a Hunter, it can then spot itself for its own text requirement. If this seems absurd, wouldn't that lend weight to the idea that the nebulous modifier holding pen theory is incorrect?
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April 18, 2020, 09:16:12 AM
Reply #23

Phallen Cassidy

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Re: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2020, 09:16:12 AM »
Option 4: In the minds of the players and/or on any method of record-keeping deemed most efficient by all parties?

That's a perfectly reasonable point of view, and I'd like to believe it as well: it's the same as option 3. If it weren't for Shelob, I would be all for the simple solution and drop the idea that Star-glass could possibly affect strength modifiers. The trouble is that Shelob's modifier has to go somewhere, even if that somewhere is a piece of paper to the side so two dementia patients can enjoy a rousing game of Movie Block. And if that somewhere doesn't protect Shelob's modifier from being wiped, what protects strength modifiers that are also generated from game text?

I still think the rules can and should be totally consistent, so these one-in-a-hundred-thousand corner cases are very interesting to me -- a test against the game's structure. I get that they're not for everyone and I'm perfectly satisfied if, even after consensus on how it should happen is reached, the verdict is that playing the game "correctly" isn't worth doing. But I enjoy filling the apparent holes in the rules.

I want to throw one more example at you, since IMO it better illustrates the whole Terminator/IG idea: I am playing Expanded and my opponent moves to my copy of Mount Doom. I then play Destroyed Homestead and reveal their copy of Mount Doom. Would you say that this ignores the effect of Mount Doom, and allows players to swap their sites in and out again (But only on their turn, while Destroyed Homestead is active)?

Exactly. You may as well replace whatever site Destroyed Homestead nabs with Sirannon Ruins, nothing on that card says there's any reason I can't replace a site. That's a really interesting application, because as you say the text comes back every other turn. Still -- why not? If Destroyed Homestead specifically said "Remove the game text from Mount Doom," or even "The game text of Mount Doom does not apply," I don't think anyone would have an issue with the idea. Is there any difference between that and the printed effect?

... And now I see a new problem. When the game texts returns to these cards, what happens to the effect? If the card can "remember" whether it's been triggered, is that altogether different from the nebulous modifier holding pen? I'm not sure. Something for us both to consider.

This is probably what you have meant since the beginning, so I apologise for making you repeat yourself so many times.

I'm not known for my ability to get ideas across, which is why I throw a bunch of words up and see what sticks :lol: I do appreciate everyone's patience sorting through those words for meaning.

Another issue that you touched on before, was when cards are removed from the game. I personally feel like this should have the same effect as ignoring their text, since they no longer exist. But as you have said, Decipher never seems to treat these cards in that way at all, which is a bit weird. For example, I would have thought that Banners Blowing can't provide a strength bonus, once it has been removed from the game, since it no longer exists. Of course, that defeats the purpose of playing the card in the first place, so I cannot argue for that chain of logic.

It seems to me that the core of this argument stems from whether or not the nebulous modifier holding pen exists or not. This might seem like a bit of a tangent, but I would like to hear your thoughts on another card, where I think that which way you interpret it makes a difference. Suppose that I have Sentry Uruk and another Hunter. Sentry Uruk is then a Hunter. Then the other Hunter dies. Intuitively, I would assume that Sentry Uruk loses its Hunter bonus at that point. Going by what you have said about effects coming from text, I would assume the same thing. However, looking at things from the nebulous modifier holding pen point of view, I would argue that since Sentry Uruk has a modifier making it a Hunter, it can then spot itself for its own text requirement. If this seems absurd, wouldn't that lend weight to the idea that the nebulous modifier holding pen theory is incorrect?

Yeah, the "removed from game pile" is basically a super-discard pile. If Decipher had a few more sets, they might well have created an effect to pull cards back in.

Sentry Uruk is really interesting, the intent is obviously "while you can spot another character that is X, this minion is X." What about Lurtz's Battle Cry: if the minion isn't otherwise damage +1, is it now damage +2? If so, even if the effect comes from the text, couldn't it always spot itself and become damage +1 for a fierce skirmish? It seems a feedback loop could result no matter what. Maybe it could be argued that the minion becomes "hunter 0" or "damage +0" with a modifier, and since those don't exist it can't keep its own text going. Sounds like another issue, haha.

May 28, 2020, 07:29:42 AM
Reply #24

Merrick_H

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Re: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2020, 07:29:42 AM »
Sure, but where?  Where do we keep track of that info? I see 3 choices: the source card, the target card, or some third zone for all modifiers. The rules under "effect" make me think option 1, which would mean it gets wiped. Option 2 sounds reasonable, but I don't remember anyone arguing for it. Option 3, the popular choice, just seems wrong if I try to think out the implications of it. And due in large part to my stubbornness, I haven't been convinced that my thought process is wrong yet (but people have managed it in the past!).
I have been a proponent of option 2.  If you modify strength, the modifier is applied to and tracked on the target card.  If you modify the ability to be assigned to skirmishes "Cannot be assigned to skirmish" either from a card like Shelob, Her Ladyship, Depart Silently or an Uruk Guard that has been made fierce, it is tracked on the cards that have been modified.  That way it doesn't matter if game text disappears from the source of the modifier, the game remembers the effect of the modifier on the target of that effect.  The modifiers section of the rules makes this very clear in my mind with the following text:

Modifiers are not recalculated when they are reapplied. The same modifiers are just applied again.
Merry, Friend to Sam reads: "Skirmish: If Merry is not assigned to a skirmish, exert him twice to add his strength to another companion." If Merry's strength is changed later during a skirmish after you have used this ability, the amount already added to the other companion does not change.

If Merry is killed during a skirmish somehow, you don't stop adding his strength modifier to the companion whose strength he modified even though he is in the dead pile.  When Shelob is overwhelmed and in the discard pile (no longer in play) her game text still has an effect until the end of the turn and if you play a second copy of her, it will trigger again.  This only makes sense if the modification sticks to the target and is not dependent upon the source (game text) being in play and active.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 07:35:21 AM by Merrick_H »

April 05, 2021, 10:34:35 AM
Reply #25

Phallen Cassidy

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Re: Questions about Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2021, 10:34:35 AM »
I've thought about this some more and I think Merrick (and the rest of you) are right. I'm not totally satisfied so I'm not convinced that I'm wrong, but I'm coming around to the idea that there's a limit to how far you can take a strictly consistent idea over an intuitive one. That game text is added to another card is in the CRD under, appropriately enough, "game text" (how have we not posted this rule here before?):

Quote from: CRD August 13, 2007
Sometimes game text is added to a card by an effect, even though that text is not printed on that card.

The Mount Doom example is the last holdout, and things get a little complicated. When the site is used (i.e., a fellowship is there), it adds game text to all sites in the region (and based on its own game text, will add text to any sites later played to that region). Destroyed Homestead removes all game text from Mount Doom, including that it cannot be replaced, so while Destroyed Homestead is active then Mount Doom could be replaced. Once Destroyed Homestead is no longer active (it is discarded or it is its owner's turn) Mount Doom can still be replaced until a fellowship is there again. It lost the game text that forbid replacing it until the site is used again. So assuming no issues with that (though I'd be surprised), two questions.

First, say I am at site 6, my opponent is at site 5, and Mount Doom's text as site 4 gets removed. If I replace Mount Doom with Traveled Leader, are sites 5 and 6 unreplaceable even though nothing in play tells you so?  This would be consistent, so as long as you're alright saying this then I'm alright going with it.

Second, say I am at site 5, Mount Doom's text as site 4 gets removed, and I once again replace it with Traveled Leader before moving to site 6. Assuming my answer to the above question holds, site 5 would be unreplacable whatever it is.  Would site 6 be replaceable? To stay consistent I think it would have to be, so the end result is you have sites 4 and 6 that can be replaced and site 5 that cannot.

If those make sense then I can at least get on board with the notion that removing the game text for an effect's source doesn't necessarily remove the effect itself. I'm not sure that it totally fits in theory with cards that check for sources but again, it's certainly more intuitive.